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Controlling Your Money - Call it a Spending Plan

Aug 8, 2008
From a financial stand point, getting out of debt and saving for your retirement is critical. The sooner you start the better yet why do we not learn and continues to put this off. Let?s take a look at what you can do to help you take control.

This plan, you are about to read, first and foremost, will require three days of your life. During these three days, you will be given three assignments to organize and review your financial papers. You are not going to plan the rest of your life in three days, but you will get organized and figure out where you are financially. Where do you begin?

Assignment #1 - You'll need to purchase simple files and a lockable file box/cabinet or a fire proof safe, the most costly but most secure option, at your local office supply store. If you have poor handwriting, you may want to pick up a label maker, too.

Assignment #2 - Next you need to gather up, from wherever you store them, receipts, bank statements, credit card statements, insurance information, utility bills, and the like. Then organize and file them. The most recent papers should go at the top of each file.

Once you've set up your filing system, keeping up will be a breeze. As you get your bills and statements in the mail, file them with your other household expenses. You?ll know exactly where to look if you need them.

Assignment #3 - Log-on to AnnualCreditReport.com (U.S. only) for a free copy of your credit report from the major credit reporting agencies. There is no catch, this website is secure and offers this service free of charge. You will just need about 20 minutes to fill out the required information and you're done.

Armed with your credit report, you will have a current glimpse of your finances. Read line by line looking for anything that doesn't look right. Are there any credit cards on your report that you didn't apply for? What about loans you didn't take out? If there are any suspicious activities or mistakes, notify the credit bureaus. Suspicious activity could mean your have been a victim of identity theft and you'll want to immediately file a report with the authorities.

You are now on the right track to taking control of your finances.
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